Kungsleden (Sweden)

Duration 8 days
Date
Difficulty Advanced
Route Town Kiruna – village Nikkalauokta – lake Ladtioare – glacier Bjorlings – Mount Kebnekaise – Singi Fjällstuga – Tjäktja area – Alesjaure area – Abiskojaure Fjällstuga – village Abisko
Distance 105 km
Price 400 €






OVERVIEWITINERARYDETAILSMAP

North of the Arctic Circle, the Scandinavian taiga, reindeer – these are some of the reasons why we are going to a hundred kilometer-long hike along the King’s trail in Sweden.

Eight hiking days will pass as one! Seriously. June is a time of the midnight sun – when the Sun remains visible at midnight.

The King’s Trail (Swedish Kungsleden) is 440 km of paths running from south to north of Sweden. It’s now considered to be one of the most beautiful in Europe. In Western Europe, this is the only wildlife area of such an impressive scale.

We will hike in the most interesting part of the trail which includes the highest point of Sweden – Kebnekaise Mount. In the north of Sweden and north of Kingsleden. «You ancient, you free, you mountainous north» («Du gamla, du fria, du fjällhöga nord») – the first line of the Swedish anthem. There we go!

The exact height of Kebnekaise («Cauldron Crest») is difficult to tell. It has two peaks – northern and southern. By 2018, it was the southern peak that was the highest, but the year turned out to be very hot and the mountain melted, having lost its height of 2,123 m. Now the highest point of the country is the northern peak, which is not covered with ice and therefore its 2,097 m is fairly stable. But thats changeable.

The landscapes of Swedish Lapland is different: pine and birch forests, rocky massifs, broad valleys, alpine meadows and a lot of water in various forms – glaciers, rivers, lakes, ponds, swamps. Unfortunately, standing water means mosquitoes. However, we believe that it is the most unpleasant thing that happens to us during the hike.

You’re likely to see deer, moose, and lemmings, which are the most numerous inhabitants (have you heard the misconception of lemming «mass suicide»?). Deer are most often semi-domesticated: they are held by the indigenous people of Saami. Ethnically their country lies in the Arctic part of Scandinavia in Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula in Russia. They have the right to practice reindeer herding in these lands (they even have more than ten words for the name of this animal).

HIGHLIGHTS

 the midnight sun;

 the mountains of the Swedish Lapland which is the least populated region of Europe, land of Sami people;

 the highest peak of Sweden – Kebnekaise (2,097 m) or just Keb;

 many rivers, streams, lakes, and bridges across them;

 reindeer and nature of the Scandinavian taiga and the forest-tundra above the Arctic Circle.

OUR ROUTE

1 day: town Kiruna  Nikkaluokta  lake Ladtioare;

2 day: river Ladtoyakka – Kebnekaise Fjällstation;

3 day: glacier Bjorlings  Mount Kebnekaise (2,097 m);

4 day: Singi Fjällstuga – Sälka Fjällstuga;

5 day: Sälka Fjällstuga – Tjäktja area;

6 day: Tjäktja area – Alesjaure area;

7 day: Alesjaure area – Abiskojaure Fjällstuga;

8 day: Abiskojaure Fjällstuga – village Abisko.

 6 km

 + 50 m


After meeting in Kiruna town we are going to Saami village of Nikkalookta, where we start our 100-kilometer road.

On the first day, we will hike 6 km, almost without a difference of heights. We’ll spend the night near Lake Ladtioare.

Sounds like a perfect plan for the first day!

15 km

 + 350 m


The path along the river. We’ll hike two times more, than the day before.

Night at the foot of Mount Kaipak.

13 km

 + 1350 m


Challenging day! We pray to the goddesses of Saami to send us good weather and let us go to the summit of Kebnekaise.

We wake up very early and set off towards the mountain. After a few hours of climbing, we will reach the glacier Bjorling. It’s time to dress warmer.

If the weather Gods allow us, we will climb to the highest mountain in Sweden. If not, we will be high enough to see the Highlands of North.

We descend and go further to the west. After a few kilometers – our camping site.

 12 km

 + 200 m


On this day, we’ll sleep longer after a difficult previous day. After a few kilometers, we reach the main path of the Kungsleden route. In this place, we turn north, and from now on the polar sun will always shine in our back.

 13 km

  + 300 m


We continue to move through the subarctic taiga, seeing reindeer along the road. They do not let us close, but we can enjoy their beautiful moves.

There is a traditional Sámi measure of distance – «poronkusema», which is used when it is impossible to accurately define the distance. It is equal to the distance that a deer could travel until he wants to «go to the toilet» (they say, it’s about 7.5 km). So, two poronkusemas is our plan for this day 😄

Photo by Jahit Janberk on Unsplash

 13 km

 + 100 m


We hike along the river and then stay near the Alesjaure shelter, which is close to the Saami village of Laevas.

20 km

 – 400 m


The road of this day takes about 20 km, but the total set of heights will be negative, so the day will not be too difficult.

In the afternoon we will reach the swampy area, the eastern side of which is transformed into an expanded system of lakes. And in the end, there is a forest of mountain birches.

Night near the Abiskojaure.

Photo by David Becker on Unsplash

13 km

 – 170 m


Hiking in the direction of Abisko village by the canyon of the river.

We finish in the foothills of the Scandinavian mountains, which divide Norway and Sweden.

Train to Stockholm departs at 4.30 p.m. from the village.

Photo by Mats Hagwall on Unsplash

START / FINISH

We meet in Stockholm on the day before the start or in Kiruna till 2 p.m. at the bus station. You can fly to Kiruna by direct flight or take a night train from Stockholm (departing at 18:00, prices start from 45 euros). You can book tickets online

Then we go together by bus to Nikkaluokta which is the place where we start the hiking part of the trip.

The end of hiking is in Abisko village. At 4.30 p.m. there is a night train to Stockholm, which we want to take.

WHAT TO EXPECT

About the difficulty. The difficulty of this trek is in duration (8 days) and the distance to be reached (105 km). But the elevation gain and height differences are not big. Therefore, it is suitable for beginners and accessible to any physically healthy person. However, it will be easier for those who have already gone to some multi-day treks.

One month before the trek we recommend you to increase physical activity: walk longer and faster, run, climb stairs, squat etc. 

If you join us, then you go on a multi-day trek in which:

  1. We are hiking as a team with a motto «all for one and one for all». That means we are suffering from tiredness, making camp and having fun together.
  2. Each person in his backpack carries his own gear, clothes and a part of group products.
  3. We stay in tents. It can be replaced by an overnight stay at one of the Swedish Tourist Association’s shelters, which will be at every camping site. They also have shops, showers, sauna, access to electricity. You need to pay extra for this: 30-50 euro per night; 5 euros for a sauna.
  4. We cook food only using gas burners (just because there is nothing to burn in taiga).

Note:

the guide can change the pre-agreed tour plan if the weather conditions become worse, someone feels bad or some other adventures happen. Your life and health in these few days is our responsibility, and we are very serious about it!

WHAT TO TAKE

You are packing for the hike by yourself, but with our advice. We will tell you about the suitability of your clothing and equipment for the tour (temperature of the sleeping bag, the convenience of the backpack, the endurance of the tent, etc).

The gear list is classical for a multi-day trek in the warm season. Read about it here. Additional must-have thing is a mosquito repellent.

WHAT DO YOU PAY FOR

You pay in cash when meeting with a guide in Sweden; prepayment is not required.

What’s included

  • 3 meals per day (2 meals on the first and last day);
  • transport on the route (Kiruna – Nikkaluokta);
  • guide’s job (rafting and hiking);
  • use of gas and group equipment (cooking gear, first-aid kit, etc.).

What’s NOT included

  • flight / transfer to Kiruna and from Abisko;
  • personal equipment (tent, sleeping bag, backpack are yours, but we can help);
  • bed, meals and other services in the shelters.

WITH WHOM

Before the hike, we will definitely tell you what your guide is about. Or you will get to know him (her) by phone.

The size of the group is from 4 to 10 participants. Usually, we hike with small teams: it’s easier to find a common language, more comfortable to go at one pace. And also it is a requirement of the ecological principle leave no trace in the wild: we really don’t want to scare all the deer of Lapland!

WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER

The climate here is the temperate maritime with elements of subarctic (if it tells you something). Average daytime temperatures in June: + 5 … + 15 C, at night it can drop to 0 … – 5 degrees. In some places, there will be still snow. The general principle of weather formation in the mountains is as follows: with every hundred meters of the climb the temperature decreases, and the amount of precipitation increases.

There are a lot of rains, so you should not save on waterproof clothes and outfits. It’s often windy: a good jacket and a sturdy tent are obligatory.

As we have already written, we will forget about the usual dark nights in this hike, because from the end of May to the middle of July it is a polar day and the sun does not go beyond the horizon at all. You may need a mask for sleep.


Do you have a question? Here’s how to contact us.